I was in Louth on Friday to open the Norton Lodge at my old school, the King Edward VI Grammar School. The Lodge is the sixth-form centre, including a cafe (pictured), study areas, and higher education advice centre. It occupies an old science building and has been superbly redesigned. I cut a ribbon to open the building and unveiled a plaque.
In making a short speech, I said it was a particular honour, given that it was in Louth and given that the school boasted a distinguished array of Old Ludensians after whom it could have been named: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Captain John Smith (whose life was allegedly saved by Pocahontas), Edward Eyre (explorer of Australia, after whom Lake Eyre, among other things, is named), Sir John Franklin (the explorer who sought the North-West passage) to name but a few. I did, though, recognise that I had an advantage over some of these in that I did enjoy my time at the school (Tennyson was a pupil under a headmaster with a reputation for being a keen flogger) and I had an advantage over all of them in that I was actually available to open the building. I was delighted to do so.